Author Topic: EO interpretations of St. Cyril's usage of Mia Physis and Mia Hypostasis  (Read 2454 times)

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Offline CopticSoldier

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Hello all,

I was just interested to hear the EO interpretion of the formula that the OO largly ascribes to St. Athanasus that was frequently used by St. Cyril.

Its a sticky issue because I have heard many times that the formula was found to be an addition made by forgers but I haven't actually anything about the evidence to support it.  However despite that its hard to subjugate the term as being wholly evil because St. Cyril used it and I'll go further than just ascribing his name because in his defence of the Theotokos he was able to refute so effectivley because he meditated on what Nestorius taught and brought it to its logical conclusion far beyond what Nestorius himself had considered.

For him to be so discerning regarding his opponents theology makes it seem illogical that he could have such a huge oversight about how he would define his own teachings.  As a result it must have some orthodox usage?  I'm keen to hear more on this because I've never really heard too much on this issue.

God bless,

CS

Offline Deacon Lance

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CS,

I have not heard that the formula was forged but that Apollinarius was actually the first to use it.  From the Chalcedonian prespective, St. Cyril's definition is not heretical but insufficient, diophysis being the better term. I think the same could be said about Nestorius' use of Christotokos.  Objectively it is not a heretcial title, but Theotokos is the better term.  Why is St. Cyril's definition insufficient from a Chalcedonian perspective?  I think because the Fathers felt it was absolutely vital to make it clear that Christ was 100% God while at the same time 100% man, not 50/50, which I think the term miaphysis, signifying one composite nature, can be misinterpreted as.

Fr. Deacon Lance
« Last Edit: July 26, 2004, 07:20:19 PM by Deacon Lance »
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Offline CopticSoldier

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Hello Father,

Thanks for that, I worded my post poorly.  The Cyrilline creed is still existant in our versions of St. Athanasius's On the Incarnation of the Word today.

I think I read on orthodoxinfo.com that there was a discovery sometime in about the 6th century that these documents were not what they seemed.  I have never seen anything that describes how they came to that conclusion in detail which I suppose is something I'm quite eager to look at.

God bless,

CS

Offline Antonious Nikolas

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Greetings Coptic Soldier,

Just a word of warning: I must say that I find most of the articles from orthodoxinfo.com (the website which you referenced) to be of a polemical nature, and as such I take them with a grain of salt.  The authors of this website seem to maintain a strict dichotomy between what they view as "Orthodoxy in Resistance" as oppossed to "World Orthodoxy" which includes any Eastern Orthodox national Church participating in the WCC, as well as the Ecumenical Patriarch, etc.  Also, they would regard you and I not as Coptic Orthodox, but as "monophysite heretics".

In XC,

Nick
My sins run out behind me and I do not see them, but today I am coming to judge the errors of another.

Offline CopticSoldier

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Hey Nick,

I have actually contacted the maintainer of the site and I've spoken to his priest. Anyways I'm happy for them to call us whatever they want so long as we use it in a creed, I've never known any document one of our fathers has written contain the word monophysite so its more like an insult than anything else...

God bless,

CS


Offline Antonious Nikolas

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Very interesting Coptic Soldier.  Would you mind posting the results of your conversation with this individual and his priest here?  Or perhaps you could send it to me in a private message?

Thanks
My sins run out behind me and I do not see them, but today I am coming to judge the errors of another.

Offline CopticSoldier

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There isn't really much to say (it happended a few years ago).  I was concerned about the way that the page was portraying our Church and I discussed it with the maintainer and he referred me to his priest.  They were quite kind, it never became a theological debate or anything like that.

CS

Offline Grigorii

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Hi Coptic Soldier,

Hmmm to my knowledge the famous one-nature formula of St. Cyrill is often times attributed to Apollinaris. The evidence of it I have not seen either, just the claims. But even if it were true,.. So what?

Homoousion was in use by the gnostics way before Nicea, and it was even conciliarly condemned in 268 because it was again used in a heretical way by Paul of Samosata. Yet the homoousion now stands as a pillar of Orthodoxy. Even IF Apollinaris used it, or maybe even coined it,.. That in itself does not make it unOrthodox. In fact, from what I have read of him his only heresy is that he denied a "soul" in Jesus, he did NOT teach that the flesh of Jesus was "divine" in the way it is often claimed. He DID teach a communicatio idiomatum whereby the Body of our Lord allowed the Divinity to share in fleshly reality and vice versa.

I consider the "One Nature" phrase a strongly Orthodox position,.. Eventho I would allow for a "Two Nature" phrase as developed in the Eastern Orthodox Church at and especially after Chalcedon. There is nothing unOrthodox in Chalcedonian christology, eventho Leo's Tome does have some pretty clear unOrthodox leanings.

About Orthodoxinfo website,.. It is a ROCOR affiliated site (to the best of my knowledge) which is not a canonical Orthodox Church, but a schismatic offshoot of the Patriarchate of Moscow. Their schism is, however, not complete because they are in communion with autocephalous Orthodox Patriarchates who in their turn are in full communion with the Patriarchate of Moscow and Constantinople. The info on Orthodoxinfo is therefore NOT by any means representative of Eastern Orthodoxy, but rather it is representative of a schismatic offshoot of Eastern Orthodoxy (tho they will strongly and passionately disagree with me here). Be that as it may, you will be much better off searching the goarch website (Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America) which is a fully canonical Church under the Patriarchate of Constantinople.

IC XC

Grigorii

(yup Patriarchate of Moscow! hehe)
« Last Edit: July 27, 2004, 06:00:34 PM by Grigorii »
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Offline Ghazar

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Dear Coptic Soldier,

Here are a couple of links with info. relating to the question you raise:

http://www.britishorthodox.org/dialogue.php

http://www.geocities.com/derghazar/chalcedon.html
Trusting in Christ's Inextinguishable Light,
Rev. Sub-Deacon Lazarus Der-Ghazarian,
Byzantine Catholic Church, Eparchy of Parma
St. Gregory the Illuminator Institute:
www.looys.net

Offline CopticSoldier

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Thanks for all that guys!

God bless,

CS